Speaking strictly from a releasing perspective, yes, Marvel may be done for 2018, but the studio behind the highest grossing film franchise ever isn’t enjoying any downtime, and neither is president Kevin Feige. However, just because the producing vet of twenty years is currently absorbed in putting a bow on Phase Three – what with Captain Marvel now in post and Avengers 4 headed for “pick-ups” this fall – that doesn’t mean he isn’t allowed to reminisce. And during a recent interview with Deadline, Feige did just that.
Earlier today, the outlet sat down with the Marvel Studios President of Production, who took the time to reflect on where it all began: Iron Man. In doing so, Feige revealed that the moment Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) announced to the world that he was indeed the man inside of the tin can, instead of maintaining his secret identity, was a significant turning point for the MCU.
“I think it did inspire us on all the movies. What I love now — 20 movies in — is how fans expect the MCU to change and adapt. They expect us to be inspired by the comics as opposed to being slavishly devoted to them.”
Ten years on, and ”I am Iron Man” is still one of the shared universe’s most quotable pieces of dialogue. Incredibly, the line wasn’t even in the script, as RDJ ad-libbed it. Nonetheless, there’s no denying the pop culture shock that accompanied the improvisation, seeing as moviegoers had become accustomed to the secret identity trope. In essence, though, Feige is adamant it panned out only because of who Tony Stark is.
“It’s a fine line. If you’re changing something for no reason, that’s one thing, but if you’re changing something because you want to double-down on the spirit of who the character is? That’s a change we’ll make.”
“Tony Stark not reading off the card and not sticking with the fixed story? Him just blurting out ‘I am Iron Man?’ That seems very much in keeping with who that character is. It just hadn’t been done in the comics before, but it was something very much in keeping with the comics character and what he could have done.”
What began with Jon Favreau’s Iron Man back in 2008 has since grown exponentially. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has reached a level of popularity that even the studio itself could’ve never envisioned and evidently, all involved may have Robert Downey Jr. and his improvisational prowess to thank.